"Let's become World Class"; Dom McKay sets ambition for new Celtic structure after fan grilling

By Euan Davidson

June 25, 2021

For the first time ever for Celtic Football Club, fan media were invited to grill the new Bhoys manager. Not only that: Dom McKay, the club’s new CEO, was at a fan media-only press conference.

It was a perfect chance for 67 Hail Hail and our contemporaries to ask forensic questions on tactics, the running of the club and what lies ahead for supporters.

And as for running the club, Dom McKay was asked about that pesky Director of Football role. And rather than just focussing on one job at the club, the former SRU chief was keener to talk about the club as a whole.

McKay responded to a question from A Celtic State of Mind:

“My intention is… to make sure we evolve and modernise the club. So what does that mean? What that means to me, is looking at every single part of the club. Whether that’s football, whether that’s business, whether that’s engagement. Making sure we’re benchmarked – are we the best we possibly can be? Are we world class in these areas?

“If we’re not, let’s become world class, and go on a journey towards that. If we need to enhance and bring people in, we’ll do that. So the football structure… is an area which I’m obviously very interested in. I’ll look across the whole of the whole football structure, and engage with Ange on that.

“One of the great joys of bringing Ange in, is his great experience in Japan, great experience in Australia at club level, but also at international level. So together, we’ll look at that as a football environment. And we’ll make the right decisions for the club going forward.”

“Let’s be World Class”; Dom McKay sets out ambitions as Celtic CEO

“There’s clearly some roles to fill. But before I trigger any roles, I want to make sure I’ve got the right long term structure. And I’ve spent a lot of time over the last number of weeks speaking to other clubs across Europe. Making sure I understand their structures, what’s working, whether that be in recruitment, in the Academy, in the football operations structure.

“So we’re learning, we’re looking, and we’ll make sure that we make the right decision. But the benefit of having Ange in here, is I’ll tap into his experience, too.

Pending Celtic CEO Dominic McKay / (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“I don’t start until the 1st of July. A bit like Ange, people have been kind enough to give me lots of ideas and feedback. I like to think I will always listen to that, but I’ve got to make a decision that’s right for the football club for the long term.

“We’ll do that when it’s right and proper.”

Fine, it’s not the smoking gun DoF announcement many of us would’ve wanted. There are still huge concerns about recruitment and bridging the gap between the different squads within the club. And it sounds like McKay isn’t in a tearing hurry to ease those qualms.

However, that might end up being the best thing. There’s still plenty of the summer left, in terms of structure, and this will be an ongoing project. Celtic Park wasn’t built in a day, to borrow a cliché.

At least the ambition sounds right. These conversations are actually happening. Like or loathe Lawwell, it’s clear that the tyres have profoundly come off from his departure at the club, because he seems to have been working multiple roles.

That can’t go on, and McKay understands that. Moreover, he wants to make this football club elite. We can’t really complain on that score.

READ MORE: Fans united on one key Celtic issue